Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
WEEK BEGINNING 25 JUNE 2001
Blood Pressure Warning In Young Men
Young men should beware of high blood pressure. According to a new US study raised blood pressure at a young herald is a strong indicator of heart disease later in life. The research team based in Chicago observed the blood pressure of over 10,000 men aged 18 to 39, starting in 1967 and following through to the present day. Their results showed that over 65% of the men suffered from high-normal or raised blood pressure. Those with high-normal blood pressure had a 34 per cent greater chance of dying from heart disease; those with hypertension a 50 per cent greater chance. Professor Martha Daviglus, who led the research, comments: ‘When you’re young you never believe you’re going to die of heart disease. But if we educate young people that yes, this is really going to affect you, they may change their lifestyle.’
New Invention To Beat Depression
Beating the blues might well have been made easier by a new invention from Germany we hear this week. The new electronic device has been dubbed a ‘pacemaker for the soul’ by the scientists who developed it. Indeed it works in a very similar way to the good old heart pacemaker and like a normal pacemaker it is miniature is size and can fit under the skin of the chest.
Predictions by the developers are that the invention will assist at least 20% of people suffering from depression, providing a cure within 6 months. It does so by sending tiny electrical pulses along the vagus nerve to the area of the brain governing mood, and therefore depression. In so doing it increases the blood flow to this area.
Trials have shown ‘pacemaker for the soul’ to be highly successful indeed. Next step, making the device widely available to the public via their health professionals.
Oxygen Therapy For Infections
Sometimes the most effective innovations in medicine are the simplest. So it is with the latest news from the world of surgery, where it has been discovered that by merely increasing the amount of oxygen given to patients during an operation can greatly reduce the incidence of post-operative infections and therefore deaths.
The finding comes from research carried out jointly by Austrian and German doctors. If utilised in the UK it could slash NHS spending significantly. The cost of treating infections after an operation can cost over £1500 per patient. The cost of the extra oxygen is a mere 37 pence. Which all in all speaks volumes – and not just oxygen volumes.
The Daily Mail
Get Juiced To Stop UTIs
The hectic debate about whether cranberry juice really does prevent urinary tract infections may finally have been laid to rest. For the men from Finland say yes.
The Finnish medical researchers have isolated substances known as tannins in the juice. These tannins have specific anti-bacterial effects. Furthermore those women who consume cranberry juice daily for a period of six months reduce their chances of recurrent urinary infection by a massive 50%.
With over 60% of women reporting at least one water works infection in their lifetime, and 50% of these having recurrent symptoms, the cost of antibiotic treatment has boomed. The researchers believe these costs could be cut significantly if all women partook of long-term cranberry therapy.
Epilepsy Responds To High Fat Diet
A new dietary breakthrough could be of enormous benefit for children suffering from epilepsy. A diet in fat and low in carbohydrates has been found to markedly reduce the frequency of seizures, and in many cases eradicate them altogether.
In initial trials carried out by researchers at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London, over 30% of children noticed at least a 90% reduction in seizure episodes.
The diet based on higher levels of fat than is usually advised for those with full health might typically have consisted of 32g of roast chicken, 30g of carrots, 39ml double cream and 23g butter. It might also be possible to provide the fat as actual supplements. The diet was carefully monitored to ensure that the children are not supplied with more than the recommended daily calories, hence none of the children became fat during the trial.
More extensive trials are now planned with the hope that ultimately the diet will be adopted by the health service countrywide.
The Sunday Telegraph
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